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People homeless in Ghizer as flooding continues after lake formation

July 24, 2018
 
Many people in Ghizer’s Ishkoman tehsil became homeless after a glacial lake outburst flood in Gilgit-Baltistan washed away their houses



Their houses are submerged in water and they have nowhere to go.

Many people in Ghizer’s Ishkoman tehsil became homeless after a glacial lake outburst flood in Gilgit-Baltistan washed away their houses. A large part of a glacier fell into the Karumbar River, blocking its flow and forming a lake. The formation of the lake brought back memories of 2010 for the locals when climate change induced a massive mountain landslide into the Hunza River, creating the Attabad Lake. The crumbling mountain swept along hundreds of Gilgit-Baltistan villages, which were submerged into the Hunza River. The incident left over 1,000 people displaced.

Eight years later, a glacial lake outburst flood in the Budswat Valley of Ghizer’s Ishkoman tehsil has blocked the flow of the Karumbar River, forming a lake. The lake has submerged houses and destroyed a stretch of the road. The Karumbar River has started overflowing again, but the stored water looks like a lake, drawing comparisons with the Attabad Lake.

Some people have lost their houses because they are submerged in the lake. Others cannot reach their houses since the lake has impeded movement. More than 2,000 people are unable to reach their houses.

“It’s been six days that I haven’t been able to go home,” said one man.

The flooding continues, resulting in a rise in the spread of diseases. “Other than viral diseases, people who have been displaced are facing psychiatric issues,” said a doctor in the area.

Efforts to rescue people or send them aid have been hindered by the destruction of the road. The army is dispatching food and medicine supplies via helicopters.

The artificial lake formed on the Karumbar River and the subsequent flooding have damaged around 5km of road near the Bilhanz area of Ishkoman. The blockade has cut off around 180 households from the lower part of Ishkoman.
 
 
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